MARCH 12, 2021 • PRESS BRIEFINGS
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
12:27 P.M. EST
MS. PSAKI: Well, we are ending the week with a very special guest, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. He’s our first repeat guest here — must be a lot going on in this world. He’s going to give us a readout of the Quad meeting that took place this morning and also, of course, answer some of your questions.
So, with that, why don’t you take it away.
MR. SULLIVAN: Thanks Jen. Good to see everybody today. So, as Jen said, this morning the President hosted the first ever Quad Summit — the first time that this group gathered at the leaders’ level. Of course, they gathered virtually because of the constraints of COVID-19.
Each of the leaders independently, in the course of the meeting, referred to this event as “historic” because it cemented a group of strong democracies that will work together going forward to secure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The President noted in his opening remarks that this is the first multilateral summit he’s hosted since taking office, and that’s on purpose. It reflects his view that we have to rally democratic allies and partners in common cause and his belief in the centrality of the Indo-Pacific to the national security of the United States.
During the meeting, the leaders addressed key regional issues including — excuse me, including freedom of navigation and freedom from coercion in the South and East China Seas; the DPRK nuclear issue; and the coup and violent repression in Burma. The President and his counterparts also spoke to the competition of models between autocracy and democracy, and expressed their confidence that, despite setbacks and imperfections, democracy is the best system to deliver for people and to meet the economic, social, and technological challenges of the 21st century.
And I have to say that, over the course of the meeting, a sense of optimism for the future, despite the hard times we’re in, was on full display.
The four leaders did discuss the challenge posed by China, and they made clear that none of them have any illusions about China. But today was not fundamentally about China. Much of the focus was on pressing global crises, including the climate crisis and COVID-19.
And with respect to COVID-19, these four leaders made a massive joint commitment today: With Indian manufacturing, U.S. technology, Japanese and American financing, and Australian logistics capability, the Quad committed to delivering up to 1 billion doses to ASEAN, the Indo-Pacific, and beyond by the end of 2022.
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